Sunday, June 30, 2013

Clare's Birthday, In Pictures

Clare turned two the day before we moved. Needless to say this was not an ideal time for a party. Moving or not, though, it is always an ideal time to decorate cupcakes.

Clare decided it would be more fun to eat them.

She was pretty pleased with herself when she got to have a SECOND cupcake later that day. (I decorated that one.)

We celebrated on the actual day of Clare's birthday with pizza and Clare's paternal grandparents, Aunt Katie and Uncle Andrew, and Great Aunt Sally. Clare celebrated by wearing her new strawberry sunglasses around the house.

Because I am a crazy person, I decided to have a small birthday party for Clare yesterday, three weeks after we moved into the new house. This time, there was a proper cake, complete with Big Bird and Elmo. Clare picked it out.

I invited my college roommates and their families. Clare was not sure what to think about all of the other children being there. I was thrilled to talk to my friends, who I don't see often enough. And really, I invited them for me, not her. Sorry Clare.

Clare was, however, willing to play with Uncle Andy in the house.

Uncle Andrew and Aunt Katie are not sure if this is fun or not.

Clare playing with bubbles. Earlier, we pinned the nose on Elmo. (In background. And yes, that is my friend Jessica's pregnant belly in the foreground. Sorry Jess! I am too lazy to crop.)

We had some long distance guests, including my grandmother Jean, sitting at the head of the table. My parents and our family friend Ruth also made the trip.

The college girls, minus Cindi, plus Ben's friend's wife and her son. As you can see, Clare was not interested in posing for the camera. All of the other children are smiling nicely, of course. Aren't they a cute bunch?

Clare finally cheered up after a piece of birthday cake and a game of catch with Uncle Andy.

And then she discovered her presents. The large red one is a water table from my friend Chelsea. I am SO excited about this gift. I think Clare will love it. She loved all of her other presents, too.

Especially these shoes from Great Grandma, which she had to try on immediately.

I wanted a picture of Ben, Clare and me. This is the best we got. You may notice that Ben is not even in the picture. Yeah, that is about how the day went, picture-wise, so we are missing lots of Clare's guests, including all four of her grandparents! Despite Clare's lack of enthusiasm at first, I think the party was a success. Of course, I bought way too much food. If anyone would like some watermelon or a sandwich, please stop by.

With Great Grandma at breakfast the day after the party.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Week 26

I had a bit of a panic attack recently when I realized I am well over halfway through this thing. How did that happen? I guess I have been a bit distracted with a few other things, but STILL. Only 14 weeks to go? That doesn't seem like very many, suddenly.

The Baby: Is about 1 and 2/3 pounds and 14 inches long. The size of a scallion, according to the Internet. I have never seen a scallion that weights 1 and 2/3 pounds, but maybe they are talking about the length?

Weight gain: As of my last appointment, I have gained about 10 pounds.

I’m Feeling: Still having low back pain. I am also easily winded. The sides of my abs and the ligaments in my legs are also sore. In short, I am becoming uncomfortable. 

Cravings/Aversions: Lemonade, but I am forbidden by my doctor from drinking it. It is an easy way to cut back on sugar, I suppose.

What I'm enjoying: Sleeping in. Clare has been sleeping until about 8:30 every day (knock on all the wood), and I decided I am just going to sleep until she wakes up. Yes, I could get up and shower and get things done before she wakes up, but what can I say, I prefer sleep to showering. Also: starting in October, all restful sleep will disappear from my life for some time.

What I'm worrying about: This unpacking has been stressful. I did have a nice break from it with a getaway to Miami with my mom last weekend. We went for my cousin's wedding shower, since I won't be able to be at the wedding in October. We had a lovely time, including a 2 and a half hour chat at breakfast and a brief trip to the beach. 

Anyway, the unpacking. It is never ending! I feel like every time I turn around there is more STUFF to deal with. I have started to realize, though, that some of this stuff is crayons and books and balls and snack cups. I guess having a 2-year-old means there is always going to be some stuff lying around, huh?

Movement: The kicking can now be seen through my shirt. And Ben finally felt the baby move after several failed attempts.

Clare: We have been talking about the baby's room quite a bit. Yesterday, Clare put her baby doll in the baby's room, saying it was the doll's room. I guess I will have to be more clear which baby we are talking about. Other than that, though, her mind is mainly occupied with this weekend, when she will have her belated birthday party. She picked out her cake. You'll be shocked to learn that it has Elmo on it.

Oh, and I figured I should take a few belly shots, now that this pregnancy is more than half over. Here is one. And yes, that is a sippy cup full of milk.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Being Social

Last week Clare and I went to the park near our house. It is a great park, full of shade and plenty of play equipment for a child Clare's size. There were children of all ages running about, their moms looking on from benches nearby.

I saw a group of moms with children about Clare's age. At least two of them were pregnant, probably about as far along as me. I want to meet other moms in my neighborhood. I thought about talking to them, but I didn't.

Clare played by herself for awhile on the play equipment, and then dug a hole in the sand with a shovel someone left on the ground. She stood for awhile outside of a group of children playing, watching them. She didn't join in, even though it seemed like she wanted to.

Instead, she came and sat by me on the bench. She had her snack and swung her legs, and we both watched all the people around us.

I am sure with time we'll both make friends in our new neighborhood, but I wish it was easier to just start talking to people. In the mean time, though I can laugh to myself about how similar Clare is to me.  And this video, which shows that at home she is not quiet or shy. 

Ben says this is what I look like when I talk on the phone, too.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Week 24

Do you ever feel like you have so much to do that you don't know where to start? I am having one of those days, so instead of unpacking or cleaning or doing laundry or one of the million other things I should be doing right now, I am sitting on the couch writing this post. After I am done, I plan to eat a cookie.

The Baby: Is about a foot long, or the size of an ear of corn. Or a foot long hot dog. Yum.

Weight gain: About 8 pounds. The doctor told me to eat a high protein, low carb diet. I have been intentionally and willfully ignoring this advice. Will I pay for it when I deliver a 10 pound baby? Yes. There is still time to get back on track, though. I hope.

I’m Feeling: My low back has been hurting quite a bit. Moving, carrying Clare, and oh, this baby I am carrying are the obvious causes. 

Cravings/Aversions: None.

What I'm enjoying:  We had an ultrasound on Monday to get some more pictures of the baby's heart (everything looks fine), and that was really fun. The baby is so much bigger, you could see quite a bit. It was yawning a lot, though, so I think it found the whole thing rather tedious.

What I'm worrying about: Blah. I don't want to think about all the things I am worrying about.

Movement: The baby is definitely a squirmy worm. It also likes sugar and food in general. It is super active after I eat. At both ultrasounds, the technicians commented on how active it was. Keep it up, baby!

Clare: She understands that there is a baby in Mommy's tummy, but I am not sure if she really knows what that means. In fact, I am sure she doesn't. She came with us to the ultrasound, and I thought she would have fun seeing baby on the monitor. Instead, she was very concerned about me. I think she thought I was being hurt or something. It was kind of sweet, but oh, she is her mother's daughter: worry, worry, worry.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Two. Two years ago I didn't know you. I couldn't imagine the little person you'd turn out to be. A sometimes incredibly, painfully shy girl, who at other times is so unafraid that my heart is in my throat as I watch you fly down the big slide at the park. You are scared of loud noises, big crowds, dogs, but you are also so independent you insist on doing most anything and everything yourself. "No, I'll do it," you insist. Even when you can't. Or shouldn't.

I didn't know how you would be the best part of every day, even when you try my patience as you so often do. I didn't know how your smile would light up a room, that your laugh would be my favorite sound in the world, how a hug could make up for so many other things that seemed wrong.  I didn't know how much I would love to read to you, talk to you, play with you. How much I would miss you when I wasn't with you, even if I desperately needed a break.

I didn't know how much I would love you. That it was even possible to love someone this much. 

Now I know. And I wouldn't change anything. Happy birthday, Clare.